RESTAURANT CLOSINGS

Here is a list of area eateries that have closed in the last year:

  • August 2017: Barbarians Pizza, 511 State St.; The Cantina, 966 Embarcadero Del Mar, Isla Vista (now Dumpling King); Downey’s, 1305 State St.
  • July 2017: Giovanni’s, 6583 Pardall Rd., Isla Vista (now Rincon Brewery); Papa John’s, 5756 Calle Real, Goleta (might reopen); Rebar Coffee, 214 State St.
  • June 2017: Burger Bus, mobile; Rusty’s Pizza, 149 S. Turnpike Rd., Goleta (moved to 4880 Hollister Ave., Goleta);
  • May 2017: The Mex Authentic, 413 State St. (now Urkeb); Stacky’s Seaside, 2315 Lillie Ave., Summerland (changing to Rusty’s Pizza); Zizzo’s Coffeehouse & Brew Pub, 7060 Hollister Ave., Goleta (changing to Choppa Ice Cream)
  • April 2017: Blush Restaurant and Lounge, 630 State St.; Bucatini, 436 State St. (changing to Craft Ramen Bar); Mama’s Bakery, 5342 Hollister Ave., Goleta (changing to 7-Eleven); Silvergreens, 791 Chapala St. (now Kyle’s Kitchen)
  • March 2017: 18 East, 18 E. Cota St.; I’a Fish Market and Café, 38 W. Victoria St. (now Big Eye Raw Bar); Kol’s Café, 6533 Trigo Rd., Isla Vista; Santa Ynez Burrito, 956 Embarcadero Del Norte, Isla Vista
  • February 2017: American Ale 02, 214 State St.; Terraza Café, 3007 De la Vina St. (now The Patio Café)
  • January 2017: Aldo’s Italian Restaurant, 1031 State St.; American Ale, 14 East Cota St. (now Foxtail Kitchen and Bar); Caffe Primo, 516 State St.; OTaco, 6530 Pardall Rd., Isla Vista (now Lao Wang); Paloma Restaurant and Tequila Bar, 5764 Calle Real, Goleta (now Los Arroyos)
  • December 2016: Hungry Cat, 1134 Chapala St. (now Bar 29)
  • November 2016: Ahi Sushi, 3631 State St. (now Sun Sushi); Globe, 18 E. Cota St.; Julienne, 138 E. Canon Perdido St. (changing to Rudy’s Express); Mac’s Fish & Chip Shop, 503 State St. (now Hana Kitchen)
  • October 2016: Gandolfo’s New York Delicatessen, 718 State St. (now Goa Taco); Montecito Café, 1295 Coast Village Rd., Montecito (changing to Scratch Bar & Kitchen); Ralphs, 2840 De la Vina St. (now Grocery Outlet Bargain Market)
  • September 2016: Alchemy Spa and Café, 430 Chapala St.; Georgia’s Smokehouse, food truck; Relais de Paris, 734 State St.
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POKECEVICHE UPDATE

It was reported recently on a local news site that PokeCeviche had opened in Paseo Nuevo. I stopped by and it appears that they are still in the tear-down phase of removing the previous business so my guess is that they won’t open until next year. I also stopped by the PokeCeviche coming to 901 Embarcadero del Mar Isla Vista (formerly Jimmy Johns) and it appears that construction is complete and that they are ready to go.

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HANDLEBAR COFFEE OPENS THIS MONTH

In April 2016 I announced that Handlebar Coffee Roasters is opening a second location at 2720 De la Vina St. (formerly Sleep Shoppe). I have had no new news since then. Last week I stopped by their 128 East Canon Perdido Street location to order my wife a iced decaf vanilla latte when the kind lady at the register told me that the second store will be opening this month.

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RUMOR MILL

Word on the street is that Jim Mishler, who I am told is the General Manager at Paradise Café, will be opening a restaurant at 1305 State Street, the former home of Downey’s restaurant, which closed recently after 35 years in business. As always, this rumor might be completely false or a brilliant forecast of future events. Your call.

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SOJOURNER UPDATE

Based on a tip from reader Steve H. I stopped by 134 E. Canon Perdido Street, the former home of Sojourner Café. That space was scheduled to be transformed into a Mexican restaurant and a new location for Miso Hungry. It appears that Miso Hungry is still a go but the Mexican restaurant, that was to occupy the left side of the building, will instead be a Jake & Jones clothing store. Mexican food fans should have no fear because Rudy’s Express will be opening one door away in the former home of Julienne.

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CA’ DARIO COMING TO SB PUBLIC MARKET

Reader BBH (an acronym for a nickname that is too vulgar to print here) was recently in the Santa Barbara Public Market at 38 West Victoria Street and saw that the empty space next to Rori’s Ice Cream is boarded up with a sign announcing that another Ca’ Dario Pizza location will be opening there soon.

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LUNA GRILL OPENS IN FIVE POINTS SEPTEMBER 8

San Diego-based Luna Grill, with 40 locations offering fast-casual Mediterranean cuisine, opens Friday September 8 at 3925 State Street, next to Blaze Pizza. Both Luna Grill and Blaze Pizza occupy the former home of Carl’s Jr. Luna Grill has a menu that focuses on grilled chicken kabobs, and also offers beef, veggie, fish and lamb options. You choose a grilled protein and whether you want it served as a wrap, salad or signature plate. Your meal includes choice of sides such as hummus, falafel, spinach pie, spicy feta dip or fries. Meats at Luna Grill come from animals raised without growth hormones or antibiotics and the company avoids genetically modified or artificial ingredients. The average meal costs about $12. Visit lunagrill.com.

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BREWHOUSE REOPENS

The Brewhouse at 229 West Montecito Street has been closed since late April due to a fire. Reader Steve H. tells me that Brewhouse reopened on Tuesday (soft opening) though the official reopening is still this Friday.

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CODY’S ADDS DINNER DAYS

Reader Mary and others tell me that Cody’s Cafe at 4898 Hollister Avenue in Goleta has a huge sign outside that reads “Open Daily 6 a.m. – 9 p.m.” Previously the sign said they were serving dinner Tuesday – Saturday only. In June Cody’s dropped dinner entirely and it has been slowly making a comeback due to popular demand.

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BREWHOUSE REOPENS FRIDAY

The Brewhouse at 229 West Montecito Street has been closed since late April due to a fire. Co-owner Pete Johnson tells me that his restaurant and bar will be reopening this Friday, September 1st. They will have a grand reopening party all weekend long, featuring food and drink specials, Brewhouse brews and your favorite Brewhouse bands.

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MUNDOS OPENS ON MILPAS

Reader Ted tells me that Mundos at 901 North Milpas Street (the building with a cow on the roof) is now open. The restaurant offers “Latin American soul food” and is open for lunch and dinner.

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GOOD EARTH PIZZA COMING TO ISLA VISTA

David Singh, owner of Mesa Pizza Company at 315 Meigs Road, is opening a pizza parlor at 6576 Trigo Road in Isla Vista (next to 805 Kabob) called “Good Earth Pizza.” I originally wrote about this in 2010 (yes, 7 years ago) and thought that plans had fallen through but apparently they have not. It appears that construction was recently started and the back of the business, which used to have rental hot tubs years ago, is currently being demolished and transformed into a courtyard for pizza patrons. My guess is that the business is at least another year from opening making this the longest-running “coming soon” restaurant story I have ever followed (the previous record was 5 years, held by both Sublime at 901 North Milpas Street and Oliver’s at 1198 Coast Village). In my original story Singh told me it will have everything Mesa Pizza has on its menu, but with an environmental and health-conscious twist. Brown dough will be standard, white dough will be available upon request.

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WAKE CUP IN ISLA VISTA

I was in Isla Visa recently and encountered a restaurant that had slipped under my radar. Wake Cup at 901 Embarcadero del Mar apparently opened as a Taiwanese-styled boba tea house in January 2016 then transformed into a Taiwanese restaurant along the way, while retaining a selection of teas. Wake Cup is owned and operated by UCSB alumni and current students. The menu includes teas, milk teas, bowls (beef, pork, and chicken), kebabs, golden buns, fried chicken wings, popcorn chicken, Taiwanese sausage, and fried squid balls. Call 869-1586.

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THE CANTINA DETHRONED BY DUMPLING KING

In May 2016 readers Christie, Bob & Annie told me that long-time Isla Vista restaurant The Cantina at 966 Embarcadero Del Mar has a sign up for a Public Notice of Application For Ownership Change. It said that it will be replaced by a Chinese eatery called Dumpling King and the transition was supposed to take about a month. 15 months later reader Steve H. says that Dumpling King has arrived.  As I understand it The Cantina had been there for a decades, and before that, it was the home of Grandma Gurdy’s. “You know it’s authentic when there’s 3 Chinese chefs behind the counter who speak mandarin and wrap dumplings in front of you,” says reader Tiffany. The menu includes three types of dumplings: shrimp with pork and chives, beef with celery, and fish. The cost is $9.99 and includes 15 dumplings.

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FLIGHTLINE TO REPLACE HIGH SIERRA GRILL

This just in from Warren Butler, partner at High Sierra Grill, 521 Firestone Road in Goleta:

Hello John,

Just wanted to give you an update on my progress on the High Sierra Grill & Bar. As you noted in January, I joined The High Sierra as The Managing Partner. After 8 months of successfully improving the overall operations of the restaurant, I have been given the option of  purchasing the restaurant and I plan on changing the concept to an aviation-theme restaurant & bar. I am looking to name the restaurant “The FlightLine Restaurant & Bar.” In addition to having great food, beverages, and service the restaurant would showcase the history of The Santa Barbara Airport.  I am now gathering with folks that will help make that vision a reality. Anyone with any SB Airport pictures or relics from the past may contact me at warrendbutler@gmail.com.

Warren Butler

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OFF TOPIC

I just returned from eastern Oregon where I gathered with friends to watch the total eclipse. Here is a photo taken during totality at 10:19 a.m. The bright object in the sky is the eclipsed sun.

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RESTAURANT OPENINGS

Here is a list of area eateries that have opened in the last year:

  • August 2017: Starbucks, UCen at UCSB; Urkeb, 413 State St.
  • July 2017: Cajun Kitchen, 6025 Calle Real, Goleta; Rincon Brewery, 6583 Pardall Rd., Isla Vista; Rusty’s Pizza, 4880 Hollister Ave., Goleta; Shalhoob Patio, 220 Gray Ave.; Sharky’s Woodfired Mexican Grill, 7060 Hollister Ave., Goleta
  • June 2017: Goa Taco, 718 State St.; La Hacienda, 298 Pine Ave., Goleta; Los Arroyos, 5764 Calle Real, Goleta
  • May 2017: Bear and Star, 2860 Grand Ave., Los Olivos; Santo Mezcal, 119 State St.; Sun Sushi, 3631 State St.
  • April 2017: Big Eye Raw Bar, 38 W. Victoria St.; Foxtail Kitchen and Bar, 14 E. Cota St.; Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, 2840 De la Vina St.; Kyle’s Kitchen, 791 Chapala St.; Meun Fan Thai Café, 5664 Calle Real, Goleta
  • March 2017: Gimeal Café, 5892 Hollister Ave., Goleta; Petros Kafe, 487 Atterdag Rd., Solvang
  • February 2017: Lao Wang, 6530 Pardall Rd., Isla Vista; The Little Door, 129 E. Anapamu St.; The Patio Café, 3007 De la Vina St.; Tangonadas, 1014 State St.;
  • January 2017: Bar 29, 1134 Chapala St.; HiWi Tropical Fusion, 6555 Pardall Rd., Isla Vista
  • December 2016: 18 East, 18 E. Cota St. (now closed); Blaze Pizza, 3925 State St.; Mesa Burger, 315 Meigs Rd.; Somerset,7 E. Anapamu St.
  • November 2016: Nikka Ramen, 5701 Calle Real, Goleta; Red Kettle Coffee, 2275 Ortega Hill Rd., Summerland
  • October 2016: The Honey B, 602 Anacapa St.; Phoevermore, 1017 Casitas Pass Rd., Carpinteria
  • September 2016: Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, 7060 Hollister Ave., Goleta; Loquita, 202 State St.; Pickles & Swiss, 7060 Hollister Ave., Goleta; PokeMee, 7000 Hollister Ave., Goleta
  • August 2016: Pieology, 7000 Hollister Ave., Goleta; Pizza Man Dan’s, 699 Linden Ave., Carpinteria; Sprouts Farmers Market, 175 N. Fairview Ave., Goleta; Vons, 2010 Cliff Dr.
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FINCH & FORK UPDATE

Finch & Fork and Kimpton Canary has named Patrick Bryant as the new Director of Food and Beverage. In his role, Bryant will oversee all food and beverage operations for Canary’s 97 rooms, over 7,300 sq. ft. of meeting and event spaces, and its restaurant, Finch & Fork. Bryant will maintain Finch & Fork’s reputation for hosting dining events with high-caliber culinary and bar experiences. Bryant touts over 20 years of industry experience working in high-end, and high-volume, restaurants and hotels across the country. He joins Finch & Fork and Kimpton Canary most recently from “Vegas Top 50” restaurant Vintner Grill, where he served as Director of Special Events & Catering, overseeing multiple event spaces and raising annual revenues by 30%.

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DINNER DROPPED

Reader Doug E. tells me that Scarlett Begonia at 11 West Victoria Street has dropped their dinner hours, according to their website scarlettbegonia.net. They continue to offer breakfast and lunch from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Call 770-2143

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BREAKFAST DELIVERY

Restaurant Connection will begin offering breakfast for delivery starting Monday August 21. For years they have only delivered for lunch and dinner but now are starting to also deliver for breakfast. Breakfast delivery menus can be seen on their website sbdelivers.com

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BARBARIANS CLOSES

Readers Jebediah, Primetime and Wade tell me that a local eatery closed and that another will takes its place. Here are the details from Wade:

“John, while walking my dog this morning up and down State Street I noticed that Barbarians Pizza located at 511 State Street was closed.  The application for ‘New Ownership’ indicates ‘Lao Ma Tou‘.  I guess too much competition with Patxi’s Pizza and Uncle Rocco’s NY Pizza all within the same vicinity.”

Barbarians opened in January 2014.

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SANDBAR TO REBUILD

Rebuilding is planned after an early morning August 16th fire damaged Sandbar Mexican Restaurant and Tequila Bar at 514 State Street.  Smoke was seen coming from the roof near the back of Sandbar from a fire that started in a wall/attic area behind the main kitchen grill. Firefighters arrived at about 1 a.m. Though the kitchen suffered smoke and water damage, the bar and dining area are fine. I have not received word yet when they will reopen.

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SANTO MEZCAL ADDS HAPPY HOUR

Santo Mezcal at 119 State Street (adjacent to the Hotel Indigo) is raising the bar, and launching Happy Hour, from 2-5 p.m., every Monday through Friday. Santo Mezcal is the latest concept from restaurateur Carlos Luna and the team behind the Los Agaves Restaurants. Happy Hour at Santo Mezcal features an all-new menu with small bites inspired by Chef Ricardo Garcia’s modern take on Mexican cuisine, as well as specials on craft cocktails, sangria, wine and beer. Highlights from the menu include Sopecitos Yucatecos, Tostaditas Ahi Tuna, and a Crab Quesadilla. Guests can also try an all new selection of tacos than those on their lunch and dinner menus, like Tacos Ensenada (shrimp or fish tempura topped with chipotle cabbage), Tacos Culichi (shrimp machaca topped with avocado and chipotle aioli). On the beverage side, Happy Hour fans can enjoy the same popular cocktails from Santo Mezcal’s regular menu for $7 during Happy Hour, in addition to a wide selection of beer for $4, wine for $5 and sparkling sangrias for $4.

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SORRISO ITALIANO INTRODUCES NEW CONCEPT

This just in from Sorriso Italiano owner Antonio Gerli at 901 Embarcadero del Mar in Isla Vista:

“I’d like to inform you that we remodeled the interior of our restaurant and we added something new: the possibility to build your own pasta and #beyourownchef,” says Gerli. “Since we added this new feature to our menu we increased our sales of 60%. All the ingredients and the toppings are always super fresh. I think that the secret of this success is because the customers can create their pasta with their own taste. View the new menu at sorriso-italiano.com/be-your-own-chef.”

During the summer (when the UCSB is closed) business hours are Monday closed, Tuesday-Sunday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.

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BACON AND BRINE CLOSES

Reader Christine sent a tip letting me know that the Facebook page for a Solvang eatery has announced its closure. “It is with the heaviest hearts and most disappointments that we are announcing the closure of Bacon & Brine,” says owner Chef Pink. “We can not express enough gratitude for those who’ve helped along the way and the support of this community that we’ve experienced.” Crystal “Chef Pink” DeLongpré and her wife and business partner, Courtney Rae DeLongpré, opened Bacon & Brine at 1622 Copenhagen Drive in Solvang in June 2014.

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DINNER RETURNS TO CODY’S CAFE

Dana Cisneros, assistant to the General Manager at Cody’s Café, informed me that the restaurant is serving dinner once again. An alarm went off in my inbox in June from nearly a dozen readers who were mourning the loss of nightly dinner service at the popular restaurant at 4898 Hollister Avenue in Goleta. “We also no longer serve hard alcohol but we do have an excellent selection of beer and wine as well as we serve margaritas and bloody marys.,” says Cisneros. “We serve those drinks with a sake based tequila and vodka. Sabé Blanco is a blend of sake and tequila which is classified as a specialty wine and makes delicious cocktails.” Hours are: Sunday-Monday 6 a.m.-3 p.m. and Tuesday-Saturday: 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Thanks to reader Mel for the tip.

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SUMMERLAND RUSTY’S PIZZA UPDATE

Owner Tyler Duncan tells me that he is still working through the permitting process for a Summerland location of Rusty’s Pizza and that construction will start early next year. In 2015 reader Foodie Dan sent a tip letting me know that a sign mentioning Rusty’s Pizza had appeared at 2315 Lillie Avenue in Summerland, the longtime home of Stacky’s Seaside, which has since closed.

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FIRST STARBUCKS ON UCSB CAMPUS OPENS

Readers DeeDee and Antonio tell me that the first Starbucks on the UCSB campus has opened at the UCen in the former home of UCSB-owned Nicoletti’s. A year and a half ago, when I announced the pending arrival of Starbucks at UCSB, it was scheduled to open in the fall of 2016. Another Starbucks is located less than a block away from campus at 888 Embarcadero del Norte.

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PAPA JOHN’S TO REOPEN

Reader Sande tells me that Papa John’s Pizza at 5756 Calle Real in Goleta, which closed last month, will reopen August 14th under new ownership.

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NAUGHTY OAK OPENS IN SANTA YNEZ

Reader Mary tells me that Naughty Oak Brewing Company Brewery & Taproom at 165 South Broadway Street in Orcutt has opened a second location at 3569 Sagunto Street in Santa Ynez.

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